View Upstream from the Upper Southwest Mabou Bridge

View upstream from the Upper Southwest Mabou bridge
Photo 1 of 25: View upstream from the Upper Southwest Mabou bridge
Taken 2006 August 14 in Upper Southwest Mabou from the Glencoe Road
on the bridge over the Southwest Mabou River
GPS 45°57.261'N 61°22.382'W

The bridge from which this photo was taken is in Upper Southwest Mabou just east of the point where the Upper Southwest Mabou, Glencoe, and Judique Intervale Roads meet. The view in this photo is as close to where the Southwest Mabou River rises as I have in my collection; I know of no other publicly accessible views that are any closer. From The Nova Scotia Atlas, I take this point to be roughly 9 km (5.6 mi) from the river’s source in the Creignish Hills—in other words, the water seen here has already run a third of its course.

In another photo of this scene taken 27 July (two weeks earlier), considerably more rocks were visible in the river bed—indeed, in that photo, the river appears to be fordable by jumping from rock to rock without getting one’s feet wet! Photos from previous years also show many more stones in the river bed, which would imply that this photo caught the river temporarily swollen by recent rains, yet my trip logs show that there were heavy rain showers only on the 8th with no significant rain thereafter. One would not expect a single day of rain to affect the river level six days later as much as it apparently has.

As the photo shows, the course of the river at this point is through forest, as I assume it must also be from this point up to its source. Its allure has caused others to build houses and summer homes along the river here (the Judique Intervale Road parallels the river’s course at the right outside the view of this photo, providing easy access to them), though none are visible in this photo.

As can be imagined, the river has a lovely song as it spills over the rocks in the river bed, so there is delight here for both the eye and the ear. This spot compels me to stop each time I’m along this way in the daytime to enjoy its beauty (and usually to snap another photo or three).

[2012] Since this essay was written, I have learnt that the bridge at Upper Southwest Mabou is locally known as Long John’s Bridge; I have not been able to learn anything about the reason for this name. This remains a favourite spot of mine to stop and photograph; the many photos I have taken there over the years show that the water level varies over a considerable range, high (sometimes very high) after rains and low when it is drier; a change in depth of 1-1½ m (3-5 ft) is not at all unusual after even a moderate rain.